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Carbon Farming Initiative

Carbon Farming Initiative


A Gillard Labor Government will open up new opportunities for Australian farmers and
landholders to participate in lucrative international markets for carbon credits in a new Carbon
Farming Initiative.

Under the new scheme, for the first time, a Federal Government will help facilitate the sale of
carbon credits on domestic and international markets.

Farmers and landholders will benefit from a new income stream, and the environment will
benefit from reduced pollution.

Why are we doing this?


At present, there is no uniform way for farmers, forest growers or landholders to generate
carbon credits and sell them into lucrative international markets.

However, agriculture and forestry will be a critical part of efforts to reduce Australia’s pollution.
Together, they account for around 23 per cent of Australia’s total pollution.

Under the Carbon Farming Initiative, a Gillard Labor Government would legislate clear rules for
the recognition of carbon credits that could then be sold on domestic or international markets.

This means farmers will know in advance exactly what they need to do to generate credits that
are internationally recognised and available for trading.

The Carbon Farming Initiative will provide a strong incentive to identify and implement low-cost
methods to reduce pollution in the agriculture and forestry sectors.

How will it work?


A farmer could enter into an agreement with a business to plant a certain number of hectares of
trees on less productive parts of a farm.

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Over time, as the forest matures and stores more pollution, credits will be issued. These credits
will be verified by a new independent regulator.

Once these credits have been verified, they can be sold into domestic or lucrative international
markets.

Buyers could include Australian companies wanting to offset their emissions.

The market will determine the price of the credits but as an example, international credits have
sold for up to $20 per tonne over the past year and a half.

There will be no restriction on the number of credits that can be generated, with initial
conservative estimates suggesting this market could be worth about $500 million over ten
years.

How will we help farmers take advantage of this Initiative?


A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will provide farmers, landholders and forestry growers
with the tools to understand how to generate carbon credits.

The initiative will also help link farmers, land managers and forestry operators with brokers,
who could sell their credits on the domestic or international market.

This will allow farmers to keep doing what they do best, while also connecting them with those
who have the monitoring and carbon retail know-how.

As part of this, Landcare, the trusted volunteer organisation which has been working with our
farmers for the past 21 years, will be funded to help farmers by providing information on how to
further benefit under the initiative.

Landcare will also advise farmers if there are opportunities to ``pool’’ with nearby properties
and catchment areas. It means that if farmers share parts of less productive land, they could
create carbon estates and share the profits.

What kind of projects will be eligible?


Methodologies for reforestation, legacy waste emissions from landfill sites, manure
management in intensive livestock production and savanna fire management (subject to
successful completion of current research), could be developed, assessed and approved by
December 2011.

Some forest plantings are already established and are absorbing pollution. For forestry projects,
where rigorous methodology is already established, projects could apply to have crediting
backdated to 1 July 2010.

Methodologies for fertiliser use and avoided deforestation could be developed, assessed and
approved by December 2012.

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Soil Carbon and Biochar


Building on the $20 million in soils research under the Climate Change Research Program, the
Gillard Labor Government will work at home and abroad to support further research on biochar
and to fast-track methodologies for soil carbon.

We will support research and on-farm testing of biochar as a further option for land managers
to contribute to reducing Australia’s pollution. This will help build national capabilities to
demonstrate and measure the effects of biochar on pollution.

This program will build on biochar research currently being conducted under the Government’s
Australia’s Farming Future program.

A re-elected Gillard Labor Government will also work to fast-track the development of
methodologies for soil carbon.

Australia is a member of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases and
leads, with France, research collaboration on soil carbon. The Alliance will play an important role
for Australia by increasing access to research and technologies.

HOW THEY COMPARE: KEY DIFFERENCES


Tony Abbott’s plan relies on slugging taxpayers, bureaucrats picking winners and on credits which
aren’t counted internationally.
Gillard Labor – Carbon Farming Abbott Coalition – Government fund
Polluters pay for pollution cuts Taxpayers pay for pollution cuts
A Gillard Labor Government will set up a Instead of getting polluters to take
new market to give landholders and farmers responsibility for their pollution, Tony Abbott
the chance to earn money for their efforts will spend taxpayers’ money.
to tackle climate change.
Experts have said his plan will increase pollution
Setting this up as a market is a win-win. It (13% by 2020). So Tony Abbott wants to slug
means polluters will pay farmers and taxpayers with a $12 billion tax bill for a policy
landholders to reduce pollution – taxpayers that will actually increase pollution.
won’t foot the bill.

Market system to provide more choice Government to pick winners


We know markets are the cheapest way to Tony Abbott is relying on a big Government
reduce pollution. We don’t pretend to know bureaucracy to pick winners. Farmers will have
more than farmers about their land. The to negotiate with bureaucrats in Canberra.
market will give farmers/landholders Previous schemes like this have been
flexibility to find the best price for their discredited.
pollution efforts.

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Gillard Labor – Carbon Farming Abbott Coalition – Government fund


Fiscally and environmentally credible An economic risk
A Gillard Labor Government will protect Tony Abbott’s plan is an economic risk – for
landholders and forestry operators by taxpayers and farmers/landholders. He isn’t
making sure we have high quality credits, serious about tackling climate change and his
verified by an independent regulator. This plan reflects that. It relies on methods which
will add to the value of credits over the long aren’t tried and tested and which aren’t
term. internationally accepted.

Access to lucrative international markets Government price – lump it or leave it


Landholders, forestry operators and farmers Under Tony Abbott, farmers and landholders
can access lucrative international markets. won’t have any choice but to accept whatever
International units have reached up to $20 price the Government offers them. There won’t
per tonne of carbon in recent times. be the chance to access lucrative international
markets.

AUTHORISED N.MARTIN for the ALP, 5/9 Sydney Ave. Barton ACT.

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